Funny thing about "Derailed:" It's well-made and everything, but when it's over, you realize you've just sat through an expensive and not particularly inspired production of a Showtime thriller -- you know, the kind where the lure of illicit sex leads a stand-up guy into an underworld of high risks and dangerous characters.

Now, on DVD that's not necessarily as big of a deal as it was theatrically; expectations might be lower, the investment of time and money certainly is, and the hype has died down to almost nothing. But a lame movie is still a lame movie.

Clive Owen is the stand-up guy, a Chicago commercial designer with a wife and family whose chance meeting with an alluring woman (Jennifer Aniston) on the train into the city starts him down a very bad road -- a road that gets even worse when their attempt at an affair is interrupted by a violent thug (Vincent Cassel) who assaults Aniston in a particularly horrible way, and then starts demanding large sums of money from Owen in order to keep his wife (Melissa George) and ailing daughter (Addison Timlin) ignorant of Daddy's dalliance.

Naturally, there are a few twists and turns to Stuart Beattie's script, adapted in a slightly meta way from a novel by James Siegel; allegiances shift, money changes hands, and we find ourselves wondering whom in Owen's circle -- which includes Tom Conti as his boss, the RZA as a chatty co-worker and Giancarlo Esposito as a homicide detective sniffing around Owen's office -- might not be quite worthy of his trust.

The good news is that the thriller plotting, for once, is airtight. Everything does make logical sense, up to and including the final payoff. But director Mikael Håfström spends so much time playing fair with its mechanics that he doesn't seem to have given much thought to establishing believable emotional rationales ... which is to say, the specifics of Owen's actions hold together under scrutiny, but if you ask yourself whether any person in his right mind would actually carry them out, the answer is a derisive snort.

"Derailed" is the first DVD release from the newly minted Weinstein Company, which is making the most of it -- literally -- with three different editions. The R-rated theatrical version of the film arrives in a full-frame edition, while the unrated director's cut, which restores about five minutes of material, is available in separate full-frame and enhanced-widescreen editions.

Extras are the same on both discs: There's a gallery of deleted scenes that fill out the subplot about Owen's sick daughter and its impact on his marriage, and a standard 10-minute production featurette. If you absolutely need to see Aniston talking about how sweet Xzibit really is, you'll find that here. But there's not much else of substance.

STUDIO: Genius Products
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2006
RATING: R/unrated
PRICE: $28.98 (R)/$29.99 (unrated)
TIME: 107 minutes (R)/112 minutes (unrated)
DVD EXTRAS: French audio dub; English and Spanish subtitles; deleted scenes; production featurette.

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